• June 27, 2019

Ethiopia

ethiopiaEthiopia is a country infamous for drought and famine. It is geographically located in the North East of Africa between Sudan and Somalia.

Ethiopia is a very populous country, the second most populous county in Africa after Nigeria. 89% of the population live in rural areas and many of these depend completely on agriculture. In fact agriculture accounts for more than half of the Ethiopian economy. Ethiopia is actually one of the oldest countries in the world; it has existed solidly in one form or another since a few hundred years BC. Apart from a five year occupation by Mussolini's Italy, Ethiopia is one of the very few countries in Africa that has never been colonised. Although free form coups and independence struggles that have dogged other African countries, Ethiopia has seen plenty of hardship. Much of this stems from droughts.

Increasingly climate change is thought to be behind these droughts. With so many people's livelihoods completely dependant on agriculture long periods of drought are deadly. Much of the agriculture consists of herders who travel the pastoral land with their cattle. They are dependant on rains and when water sources become short conflicts can break out.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world and over two thirds of the population is illiterate. Access to education can be difficult at the best of times and they are being further disrupted by the displacement of families and the struggle for survival, taking away school children's opportunities to acquire basic life-skills.

Things are only set to get worse if climate change continues unabated. Climate models predict that climate change induced droughts will worsen. Ethiopia's vulnerability to climate impacts stems mostly form the fact that so many people depend on rainfed agriculture. When climate change causes drought, then drought causes famine and millions of people die.

 

This site is funded by the Irish Aid Education Development Unit This site is funded by the Irish Aid Development Education Unit